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Buying A Chameleon - What Should You Look Out For?

chameleon care guideThere are several things that you should always consider before making the decision to purchase a chameleon. I'm going to make it easier on you by giving you an easy-to-follow list. This list is designed to make the entire process less intimidating. Remember this one important fact though. Never be afraid to ask questions if you are unsure about something. There are various forums dedicated to reptile ownership.

My first tip is that you should ask the individual selling you the chameleon various questions. If they are unable or unwilling to answer all of your questions then you should find another place to spend your hard-earned money.

With that said, there are five important questions that you should ask yourself to ensure that you are ready for chameleon ownership.

How Do I Distinguish a Healthy Chameleon from an Unhealthy One?
Inspect the chameleon carefully before making the purchase. There are several signs if a chameleon is unhealthy. You can eliminate problems by taking the time to do this initial inspection. If you notice one or a combination of the warning symptoms then there could be an existing health problem. Warning symptoms include:

1. A weak grip. Chameleons have a strong grip for its size.
2. Breathing from its mouth.

There are a total of 12 signs that indicate that a chameleon is not healthy and should not be purchased – make sure you are aware of all of them.

Do you have the space necessary to accommodate an adult chameleon?
An adult enclosure should be around 48 inches tall by 32 inches wide by 24 inches long. While a baby chameleon doesn't need that much space, it will grow quickly so you should plan as if it were already an adult. This size habitat might be a problem to fit into small apartments. Be sure you have the space to accommodate the chameleon before making the purchase.

Do you have the time necessary to devote to your chameleon's care?
Caring for a chameleon is a huge responsibility. Many people underestimate how big this responsibility truly is. You must always ensure the temperature inside its habitat is optimal. You must clean the enclosure weekly. You must ensure the lights turn on and off at the right times. This means that those impulsive weekend trips or nightly ventures will be impossible since you will have to plan ahead. It might seem bothersome but it will quickly become a normal part of your routine.  Some new owners argue that all of these details are not necessary. However, if you want your pet chameleon to thrive then you will need to be meticulous.

What species of chameleon should I get first?
Not all breeds require the same level of care so you should probably start off with one of the easier species. Some of the best choices for beginners are Veiled Chameleons, Panther Chameleons, and Jackson's Chameleons. Be sure to ask the individual you are purchasing the chameleon from whether or not is was bred in captivity. Chameleons caught in the wild are much more difficult to take care of since they tend to carry diseases and parasites.

What age should a chameleon be when I buy it?
When purchasing a chameleon, they are likely to be anywhere from three weeks to eight weeks old. Three week old chameleons are very small so most reputable breeders wait until they are at least five weeks. I mention this because many pet stores do not specialize in chameleons so they are less cautions about its age. I recommend that you avoid chameleons that are less than six years old. If the salesperson cannot tell you its age then find another seller.

Check out "Chameleon Care Guide – Keeping & Breeding Healthy Chameleons" to find out:

  • 10 things to consider before you get a pet chameleon.
  • Where to get a chameleon, including the absolute best place – plus, what you MUST KNOW about chameleons found in the wild!
  • How to spot 12 signs that indicate a chameleon is not healthy!
  • Warning – If you ever see a chameleon doing either of these two things DO NOT BUY IT!
  • The number one cause of death of chameleons in captivity and how to avoid it!
  • And much, much more…

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